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Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2012

First Amendment

Censorship

Maurer School of Law: Indiana University

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Of Burning Houses And Roasting Pigs: Why Butler V. Michigan Remains A Key Free Speech Victory More Than A Half-Century Later, Clay Calvert Mar 2012

Of Burning Houses And Roasting Pigs: Why Butler V. Michigan Remains A Key Free Speech Victory More Than A Half-Century Later, Clay Calvert

Federal Communications Law Journal

More than fifty years after the U.S. Supreme Court rendered its unanimous decision in Butler v. Michigan, the case remains a pivotal-if unheralded and perhaps underappreciated-victory for freedom of speech. This Article analyzes the Butler principle and demonstrates how courts repeatedly apply it across different media platforms and in a myriad of factually distinct contexts, ranging from prohibitions on the sale of sex toys to bans on beer bottles with offensive labels. The Article initially provides an in-depth look at Butler, drawing on literary scholarship, historical newspaper articles from the time of the case, and other sources. It then illustrates …